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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns - 12/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Phoenix Suns (17-14) at Los Angeles Lakers (9-21)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm (STAPLES Center)

The Line: Los Angeles Lakers +4.5 -- Over/Under: 214.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSAZ, TWSN

The Los Angeles Lakers host the Phoenix Suns in a battle of Pacific division teams on Sunday night.

The Phoenix Suns enter this contest at 17-14 with an impressive 10-7 mark away from home.  The Suns defeated the Kings 115-106 on Friday night, stretching their current win streak to five games; the win streak includes four road games.  The Suns get the job done offensively with a balanced attack, as five Suns players score in double figures led by the interchangeable backcourt of Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas – the trio combines for 47 points and 14 assists per game.  Down low the Suns lack a dominant big man, but Markieff Morris contributes in multiple ways with 15 points and six rebounds per game.  Phoenix is vulnerable on the defensive end allowing 103.6 points per game, so they’ll likely need to capitalize on the non-existent Lakers defense to truly gain the edge in this one.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns - 12/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are 9-21 on the year and not making the fans happy with a 4-10 mark at the Staples Center.  This could be a return game for Kobe Bryant, which would make sense considering the Suns guards don’t have a great matchup available to defend Bryant even despite his shooting struggles.  The Lakers actually managed to win without Kobe in their last home outing though, coming out of nowhere to take down the league-best Warriors.  Players like Nick Young are free to play more uninhibited with the veteran leader sidelined, and the shots actually seem to be more evenly distributed as well.  Of course if Bryant can manage to turn his game back on we all know the types of unconscious stretches he can give us, even if the quantity of those outcomes is sharply diminishing.  The Lakers allow 109 points per game to rank dead last defensively, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that average stretched if the Suns can heat up from deep.

The Suns are just the better team here but with them not being much better than the Lakers defensively I still have some lingering doubt.  I wouldn’t go much higher than the 4.5 we’re seeing now but since that’s manageable I’ll take the Suns to continue their streak.

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Phoenix Suns -4.5 (1 unit)

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